Is Your Content an Enthralling Conversation or an Awkward Goodbye?

May 11, 2015 Coy Whittier

Is your content an enthralling conversation or an awkward goodbye?

You know the difference. There are some conversations that you cannot get enough of, and there are some that you’d do anything to get out of. Anyone who has seen Groundhog Day definitely knows the latter (don’t be Ned Ryerson).

Is your content the former or the latter? Do you leave people wanting more, or do they leave you, wanting anything else? In order for your content marketing to be effective, you have to live squarely within the realm of meaning. The information that you provide must engage, empower, and activate your audience.

Interactive content holds the key to attracting, converting, and keeping the kind of customers everyone wants – the kind that say “pshhhh…” to an NPS score of anything less than 10. In fact, at Qzzr, we’re seeing conversion rates on quizzes that double and triple those of traditional content. In some cases, the rate is more like 10X.

But how do you create content that performs that way across the board? People are so different – what scratches my back the right way won’t necessarily do the same for someone else.

It’s hard to write content that does everything for everyone. You run the risk of being too vague to be meaningful. You talk and talk, and people come away thinking “What just happened?” The only way to create content that is meaningful to your reader is to allow your reader to contribute their own meaning to your content.

What makes a great conversation so riveting? To figure out how to achieve this, let’s examine the things someone would say after a truly magical interaction.

“I feel good”

I currently help out with the Boy Scouts in my area, so my mind is immediately drawn to a quote by Lord Baden-Powell, the founder of the Scouting movement – “Leave the world a little better than you found it.” After someone interacts with your brand, they should feel better than they did before.

This doesn’t just happen – it takes skill to craft the kind of messaging that instills a positive feeling. But what matters is that it works. In our research into why people share their quiz results, we’ve found that people that scored an 80% or higher made up 75% of the total shares. What’s even more telling is that 45% of the shares came from those with a perfect score.

Why people share quiz results

What does that tell us? Well, we learned that you shouldn’t make your quiz too difficult (although there are some exceptions). But more impactful is the idea that the outcome directly affected how they saw themselves and how they saw the brand. It mattered because it was theirs. When they succeeded, they felt good about themselves, and were more likely to share it with their friends.

“They really care about me”

We often get asked whether quizzes and polls work better for B2B or B2C marketing. In reality, we feel like these mediums are P2P (person to person), because the interactive nature engages the person as an individual.

That interaction allows you to learn more about the consumer. Once you know more about them, you can tailor the content that you offer them to meet their specific needs. They, in turn, feel valued because you’re not blasting them with useless information.

“That was definitely worth my time”

There’s nothing worse than having to sit through a bad sales pitch. You can’t help but think of 10,000 other things you need to be doing, and every thought is centered around “Escape. Escape. Escape.”

In contrast, a good conversation makes you lose track of time. You’re caught up in the experience, not just focused on the act. Not to get all Nicholas Sparks up in here, but there’s a connection present that makes the other things you could be doing not seem quite so pressing. Good interactive content achieves that same goal.

“They listened to me”

Well, there’s one thing that a conversation requires to be considered such, and that’s collaboration. A conversation in one direction isn’t a conversation at all. There’s a name for it – abuse. Interactive content allows the subject to be involved as much – if not more – than the marketer.

Many people ask us to clarify the difference between a survey and a quiz. In many ways, they’re the same – you’re asking a question and they’re giving an answer. But the key difference is in how they’re used.

Surveys come from a place of desperation: I need something from you, please give it to me. You almost have to beg people to take your survey.

quiz vs survey

This is my son. He hates getting his picture taken. That’s not acting, so we’re getting a genuine sad face.

In contrast, people love taking a quiz. It’s funny, really, because they’re both providing the same information. But because it’s interactive and reciprocal – in other words, they’re getting something out of it, too – they’re much more willing to engage with it than they would be a survey. That means less teeth-pulling for you.

“I didn’t know that about myself until they said that”

And what are people getting out of a quiz? A better understanding of themselves – a benchmark, really. Does how I perceive myself match up with reality? What kind of content marketer am I? Which marketing superhero would I be?

said no one ever

It’s really hard to do that with traditional content formats. And I’m not bagging on it – it fulfills a real need. If someone didn’t read Guy Kawasaki’s book The Art of the Start, they wouldn’t do well on the quiz, would they? And we want them to do well, remember?

“They really helped me out”

No one likes talking to someone who is entirely self-serving. Comedian Brian Regan calls them the “Me Monsters.” We enjoy developing relationships with those who we know are equally interested in helping us as they are in being helped.

To solve problems and fulfill needs: these are the reasons content marketing – and behind that, sales – exist. But unless you’re getting some sort of feedback, you’re just taking shots in the dark, hoping that what you’re providing will be meaningful.

Capture information that will help you provide the right information at the right time, whether that’s using a quiz or poll to set yourself up for further marketing automation or using a service like ThingLink to instantly give people additional detail on aspects of an image or video.

“Man, did they look good”

I won’t get into too much detail on why appearance matters, but suffice it to say that this is why designers and branding experts get paid the big bucks. As well-written and value-packed as your content may be, if it’s not visually stunning, it’s likely going to get lost in the fray without a date to the dance. That’s the content landscape we live in now. The look, feel, and first impression of the overall experience makes a difference in whether your audience stays or leaves.

“We’re going to talk again soon”

Did you get the digits? Don’t let a good prospect get away without asking for more. But remember – a good call to action works best after an expectation of collaboration and “give and take” is set. Don’t plan on spewing forth uninterrupted information, then wondering why your prospect doesn’t jump for joy at the idea of handing out their contact information. That’s how you get the rejection hotline number – or in our world, the “@hotmail.com” address.

“I can’t wait to tell my friends”

Let me be clear – whether it’s a great conversation or an awkward goodbye, the story is going to get told. Wouldn’t you rather it come from a promoter? Like we discussed earlier, when people feel great about an interaction, they love nothing more than sharing it with their friends. Provide an easy way for them to do that and watch your social shares go through the roof.

Conclusion

The goal of interactive content is to provide a personalized content consumption experience for every viewer. The results are conversion rates that are double and triple the norm – in one case, generating nearly a million dollars in revenue.

Don’t give your potential customers a reason to slowly back away towards the door. Try building a quiz or poll for free, and see how it goes for you. Not trying would be, well, awkward.

Want to learn more about generating leads with quizzes? Don't miss our webinar with Qzzr! Sign up today.

About the Author

Coy Whittier

Coy Whittier is Content Qwizard for Qzzr – the world’s simplest and most beautiful quiz creation tool. He’s a native Coloradoan that would rather be outside than inside, unless Magnum P.I. is on – in which case, don’t bother him. Connect on LinkedIn or follow him on Twitter.

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